Doha Debates– Don't settle for a Divided World
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Podcast / November 28 2023

Orientalism demystified: Eastern insights on Western myths

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How much influence can a 19th century European art movement really have on the modern Arab world? Orientalism, an aesthetic movement depicting the East by Western artists, was for some the only exposure to Middle Eastern and Asian cultures. Some, like Palestinian American scholar Edward Said, said that Orientalism pervades Western art, pop culture and journalism even today, revealing the same stereotypes of Arab cultures that were popularized some 200 years ago. Others argue that its influence—and even those stereotypes—requires a more nuanced interpretation.

From the roots of Orientalism to the role of museums in displaying Orientalist art, join students, recent graduates and speakers—curator Kholood Al-Fahad, author Fatima Bhutto and journalist Inaya Folarin Iman—as they deconstruct Orientalist narratives, the value of inclusion and the lasting impact of art.

This Doha Debates town hall was moderated by Dena Takruri, senior presenter and producer with AJ+, and produced in partnership with VCUArts Qatar and Lusail Museum.